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October 2011

My Life After Death – a Vision

There are two stultifying views of life after death that must be refuted. The first is that there is no life after death; this view, promoted by atheists and humanists, is a desperate appeal to deny the collective wisdom of mankind from time immemorial that has decided otherwise. Even reincarnation is a way of looking at another life after this one. And the Egyptians, Greeks, Hebrews et al. knew there was and is a judgment to come.

The second pernicious view is the idea that ‘heaven’ is a boring place – uniform and monotonous – where everyone sits around playing harps and singing hymns in praise of Father Christmas or the parody of God that God has become in the West. As Christ said, ‘In my Father’s house are many dwelling places’. So whilst the grounds for being in ‘heaven’ remain constant for everybody – which, in summary form, is to love and to believe – the manifestation of ‘heaven’ will be as infinite as the human imagination and more.

In short, the ‘heaven’ I am going to when I die I can dimly begin to discern now. Can begin to imagine now! And I want to share this with you as it was inspired by my readings in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

When I die my spirit will leave my body and for a short instant – less than a millionth of a second but feeling like a lifetime – I shall visit the underworld; and be released, fully conscious of my shortcomings yet powered by a grace that renders them of no account.

Immediately my spirit will travel at the speed of thought to a nebular cloud cluster somewhere up there in the stars, possibly near the sign of the Scorpion, and ignite a burst of hot gas, and I shall become a new star, in a new constellation, possibly forming or being part of a new galaxy. And I will blaze with heat and light.

The beauty of this is when my wife also passes on, probably some time after my demise. Same process – and she too becomes a star – a binary with me: forever facing each other – and, as globes are 360 degrees, the eternal light source  - rotating around each other, and emitting our light full on, without any diminution or veiling that comes with the physical body.

Then those we love and who have loved us will join the constellation – or be in place – family and friends and those who have touched our path – and the swelling theme of light will become a swirling galaxy of attraction moving across the heavens till the end of time and the consummation of all things.

Such is the dream of my end.

It says in Corinthians that the ‘eye has not seen and ear has not heard’ and the heart of man has not conceived ‘all that God has prepared for those who love Him’. Nevertheless, it would appear unambitious and un-god-like not to let the imagination run riot on what happens on that day when the spirit – my spirit - is set free!


Healing Dreams

When I first went into hospital I was in for six days. For the first four of those I didn’t eat, and for the first five I couldn’t sleep. Then, on the fifth night, exhausted, I fell into a profound sleep, and received a vision – I believe from God – about my illness, showing its causes and what was about to confront me.

In the final part of this vision, an ugly midget, dressed in a black suit, informed me that he wanted to ‘acquire my power of flying’, and as I tried to escape him by flying through an open window, I found myself caught by the leg and unable, physically, to free myself from his grasp. Further, as I tried one last feint to free myself, it was as if the window pane itself shut down on me, and I woke with a start – a pain across my midriff, as if I had been divided in two.

This proved very prophetic, for following 2 major operations, the final problem I am struggling to resolve is getting my stomach to work in conjunction with my small intestines – there seems to be a rift, a divide, between them exactly as in the vision.

I have re-engineered the vision – re-visualized it – created a new ending, and imagined new endings, but for all that, none of the images has had the vivacity and intensity of the original dream.

So the fear has been for me: this illness will cause me to lose ‘my powers of flying’! When I heard the midget say that in the vision, I instinctively understood him to mean; my creativity and the very poetry of my soul.

I have been waiting and praying, therefore, for a healing dream to counteract the power of the original.

The other day I got up and went to the hospital chapel. Alone there, I prayed and meditated deeply for a short while. When I got back to my bed I suddenly had an idea. I grabbed my notebook and In a wonderful moment of no more than 25 minutes in total I downloaded a poem called, Healing Dreams.

I didn’t ‘work’ at the poem, I hardly had to correct the poem, I simply had to be inspired. It didn’t require sociological or political knowledge or claptrap – it just required that I be open to the One Spirit that moves everything.

And as I wrote the final line – a line I didn’t really write – I cried. For the poem was as good technically and artistically, as anything I had ever written. I realized that post the operations, post the midget attack, I could still fly – and, therefore, I was already whole and healing.

Thus, it is, I would like to share with you this poem, which has meant so much to me, and is a breakthrough. I believe in my healing because it has come from the Spirit.

 

The Healing Dream

 

The healing dream cannot be compelled;

Like God, is not forced;

Its alphabet is strange, not spelled,

Original and unsourced.

 

The healing dream will not be obvious;

Like beauty, so surprises;

Its symbols transfigure me, us,

And cannot utter lies.

 

The healing dream may not be real;

Like imagination, deep in the soul;

Its potency – yet – makes me feel

And feeling I am whole.

 

James Sale 06/10/11

(for more poetry by James Sale visit https://jamessalepoetry.webs.com)


The Motivation of Memories

I have been in hospital now for several weeks. Recently a major development occurred – I was allowed home for 4 hour stretches mid-afternoon. Imagine that: weeks in an institution and being institutionalised, and then 4 hours of home.

It has been wonderful – rediscovering my old home again – going through the door, sitting on the old familiar (and time to replace!) settee. And every image in the home tells a story – has a memory – strengthens ones resolve to finally come home for good at last. Up in the bedroom where my wife took me to wash my hair and groom me somewhat I looked at the windowsill and saw one of my favourite objects, and smiled: one transparent “jelly” shoe, once belonging to a four year old, sadly and happily, now a hulking 18 year old who left home recently to go to university.

But seeing the jelly shoe (more of a plastic sandal really) reminded me of the moment and all the motivation. Walking my son into the sand and surf down at Bournemouth beach around 1997 – Joe proudly wearing his 2 jelly shoes on both feet, and then – suddenly – Joe getting stuck, one foot sinking into the sand, and as he pulled away, one jelly shoe coming loose.

Joe was distraught. I rushed to assist – helped him back to shore, but could not for the life of me locate the lost jelly shoe.

He was inconsolable – now only with one jelly shoe. So, in a motivational moment, as we walked home, I told Joe I was going back to find it, and mum would take him home, a wink to mum and she understood.

I shot into the town centre and purchased an identical pair of jelly shoes. Rushed home – voila – presented Joe with one new jelly shoe.

He was 4 years old – but he took it in his little hand, delighted, but also somewhat bemused. At some deep level he suspected dad had tricked him but there was the jelly shoe. A perfect end to a fraught afternoon.

And now the spare jelly shoe I didn’t give him is on the windowsill – a trophy, a reminder, a witness to that wonderful afternoon when my son’s tears were washed away as dad magically found the lost jelly shoe

That’s highly motivating to reflect on – and as I sit in my home with images and ideas such as these surrounding me, I know I shall be strengthened soon to be home finally.


Small Joys

Quoting Blake from memory – being on a hospital bed in a hospital:

To see a world in a grain of sand,

A heaven in a wild flower;

To hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

is to remind myself of the glory that is everywhere around us in the present moment, but which is habitually dulled and dimmed by our routine preoccupations.

I experienced infinity and eternity myself last Friday when the consultant surgeon dealing with my case gave me permission to come off my drips for 3 hours and be taken home. Wow! Imagine: I have been in hospital for 5 weeks, and the last 3 weeks continuously – and now I could go home for 3 hours – but would have to return.

It was seeing my home, my front door, my hallway as it were for the first time. In one sense it was like my two cats: they gingerly approached, as if recognising me, but better make sure!

So, it was I sat in the garden – like for the first time.  Laid on my bed – kissed my wife – all fresh, fresh as daisies. Found my study room and played the Tibetan Singing Bowl my friend Steve Feltham had given me: how its sound pierced me.

Below I sat and drank green, Sensha tea – and tasted it all for the first time. I tried to resolve never to forget this moment – never allow myself to become dull again – to always experience the small joys. Here was life – full and vibrant.

Pascal said something to the effect that all man’s evil comes from his inability to sit quietly, alone in a room. Yes, and to fail to notice the small joys that are so precious when your health and freedom has been stripped away.